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  • by Trevor Loveday

Government appoints chair of new environment watchdog

Environment secretary, George Eustice has appointed Dame Glenys Stacey as chair of the new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).

Dame Glenys (pictured) will take up the role in February working with the Interim Environmental Governance Secretariat before the OEP is established.

Eustice described Dame Glenys as having “an outstanding reputation of being an independent voice and being able to hold government to account.” He went on to say the OEP will set “how government will have to stand up to its pledge to protect and enhance the environment as we build back better and greener.”

Dame Glenys forecast the OEP will become, “one of the most important organisations of our time, dealing with the most pressing issues of our time.” She said it would have “a hefty job to do - making sure environmental law works and develops as it should, to truly protect and improve our environment, and holding government and public authorities to account without fear or favour.”

Dame Glenys said chairing the OPE gave her the opportunity to make it “the unstinting and resolute watchdog we all want it to be.”

The chair will be accountable to the environment secretary. It will be charged with promoting “a positive and constructive relationship with everyone that works with the OEP.”

The OEP will be a new, independent statutory body set up under the Environment Bill with the principal objective of contributing to environmental protection and improvement. It will, according to Defra, “provide the necessary legal authority to implement long-term environmental governance.”


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